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121 ANDREW TOUHY HIS GOOD EAR His was a good ear, technically speaking, an extraordinary organ: both deeper and far more complex than the fleshy lobe and obvious external whorl implied. With it he could hear most of what he needed to hear. And he could overhear, if need be, enough to know when to stop listening. Most importantly, his good ear knew when to fall deaf: those times when hurtful things, false things, things that shouldn’t concern him, might have otherwise been heard or overheard and—later—taken to heart. There was, however, the lingering matter of his other ear. 122 ANDREW TOUHY WORKING IT OUT She asked that he be her. He asked that she be him. Never mind that they did not always enjoy being themselves. His wants for her wants. Her needs for his needs. Thoughts, demands, frustrations, tastes, bedtimes, etcetera. Finally he said how could he be her? He could no longer stand at the stove, quietly stirring marinara sauce, without wanting to jump from his— her—skin. She said damned right. All week long she’d felt she had to be somewhere—that already she was someplace—she did not belong. Well, he thought, what should they try now? She said hell, she didn’t know. ...


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pp. 121-122
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